September 22, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Eastern Michigan Eagles running back Dominique Sherrer (25) is stopped short of 1st down by Michigan State Spartans linebacker Denicos Allen (28) and safety Isaiah Lewis (9) during 1st quarter of a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE
Well, that was rough.
MSU comes back from a halftime deficit to defeat Eastern Michigan in a thrilling affair. Bulletpoint thoughts below:
- This passing game is as bas as we thought it was - Nothing has been resolved since the Notre Dame loss. Something like six or seven drops from the receivers. No one stuck out among the outside guys. Dion Sims is still the only guy who Maxwell has any confidence in. The offensive line wasn't great. Maxwell finished 16-for-29 for 159 yards and one touchdown. No major mistakes, but some bad throws, too many checkdowns short of the sticks, and the receivers didn't help.
- Le'Veon Bell has to do everything - On the ground, he finished with 253 yards on 36 carries and one late touchdown to put things away. That's 7.0 yards per rush against the worst rush defense in FBS. After Nick Hill fumbled a punt return, Bell was put back there. He had three returns for 18 yards. This is not ideal, but it appears the coaches don't trust anyone else.
- The defense is still really good, but the margin for error is super-duper small - EMU finished with 183 total yards, with 102 of them coming from tight end Garrett Hoskins. Following a fumble from the MSU offense, EMU completed a 23-yard touchdown pass. Johnny Adams was burned again in the second half, but the EMU receiver dropped an easy touchdown that honestly might have put the game away. The defense barely gets any help from the O. If not for offensive turnovers, the defense may have three shutouts on the year. But they can only do so much.
- The conference moves into the easy part of the schedule: conference play - Everything remains a dumpster fire. OSU struggled vs. UAB, Wisconsin struggled vs. UTEP, Iowa lost to CMU. Do I think MSU is still the favorite in the conference? I have no idea. I can't pick anyone. Maybe everyone will finish at .500 or something and we can flip a coin for the conference championship bids.
- The Spartan Marching Band is the oldest in the Big Ten? - This according to BTN during the preview. Someone on Twitter told me they're the second-oldest in the country, behind Notre Dame. Is this true? If so, why is that not the first thing mentioned every time they hit the field?
Next up: Ohio State.